A DEDICATED dancer from Erskine will be taking on the world later this year after qualifying to represent Scotland in a prestigious contest.

Nicola Edoni, 23, has earned the chance to compete at the World Irish Dancing Championships, in America.

The contest, which will take place in Greensboro, North Carolina, in April, brings together the finest Irish dancing talent from across the globe.

Nicola attends the McQuade School of Irish Dance, in Glasgow, and has had a passion for the sport since she was five.

After taking a small break from her dancing exploits in her late teens, she decided on her return that she wouldn’t stop until she reached the World Championships.

Her quest to reach her goal has not been without its difficulties, though, making it all the more special for her to have qualified to fly the flag for Scotland.

Nicola told The Gazette: “It seemed like a very far-fetched goal but I wanted to be in with the top dancers in the world.

“This time last year, I thought I was never going to make it, as I had been dealing with constant injuries for six months.

“When I qualified for the World Championships, I was absolutely over the moon.

“My dream had come true.”

To qualify for the prestigious event, dancers must make it into the top five of their age category in the regional qualifiers.

The Gazette: Nicola will be flying the flag for Scotland Nicola will be flying the flag for Scotland

Nicola, who also plays the accordion, commits herself to dancing at classes three times a week, as well as practicing several times a week alongside this.

And if that wasn’t enough, she also takes private one-to-one lessons.

Nicola added: “I devote all my spare time to dancing, to the point that I have even missed my best friend’s birthday three years in a row due to being at competitions.

“This year is my year for dance and the aim is to try and compete at all the major competitions.

“Dancing has become everything in my life. I am very excited to be going to the World Championships and representing Scotland.”

Nicola is keen to hear from any local companies that can provide sponsorship to help her meet the costs of her transatlantic trip to the World Championships.

Anyone who is interested in providing sponsorship should go online at Just Giving